Challenge Cup Smart Cities Startups

qE3KuRXzk8jCmRuGbR8HUPRAInc326pqpIekpsznKZoUrban development and growing transportation needs are shaping the ways citizens who live in densely populated areas use and demand adaptable technologies. Throughout the Challenge Cup regional tournaments, dozens of Smart Cities startups pitches their solutions to problems urban areas are facing. These companies focus on transportation, crowd-sourcing and networking on social platforms.

Meet the 16 Smart Cities Startups coming to Washington, DC for Challenge Festival:

RideScout (Washingon, DC) – RideScout is a smartphone application that aggregates all ground transportation options around a user in real time. The RideScout mobile platform finds information on nearby buses, trains, taxis, and carsharing programs, while also integrating seamlessly with other transportation apps, displaying results on one simple interface.

Transit Labs (Washington, DC) – Transit Labs is a data analytics software company dedicated to building smarter cities by harnessing data to foster better informed decision-making. Transit Labs’s flagship application, the Transportation Application Platform, makes state, regional and local government more competitive for transportation funding and more effective with their existing resources across finance and operations. By tracking over 100 key performance measures in real-time and providing easily understood visualizations of this data, TAP informs, streamlines and speeds up the transit decision-making process to foster better, cheaper and safer transportation services.

CityScan (Chicago, IL) – CityScan helps, inspects, observes and predicts street-level activity and changes that impact on cities. CityScan helps government and large enterprises with large outdoor infrastructure assets. CityScan’s solution helps government and companies discover revenue, save on labor costs and increase life-safety conditions.

Aunt Bertha Software (Austin, TX) – Aunt Bertha is platform that makes it easy for people to find government and charitable programs in seconds (both web and mobile).

Hoard (Berlin, Germany) – (formerly einFach) Hoard is an app for the simple exchange of things and services via smart lockers at convenient locations in your city. Hoard solves the problem of handling all of the user’s daily stuff wherever he or she is, independent of opening hours and appointments.


SocioTransit (London, UK) – SocioTransit is a marketplace that connects travelers with seekers. It is a way for a traveler to earn extra money during their travels and can be local, domestic or international travel. SocioTransit is an answer to daily life transport situations and getting things transported quickly at lower charges.

Bishop Peak Technology (Los Angeles, CA) – The Bishop Peak Technology platform enables private organizations and municipal transit agencies to rapidly deploy real-time vehicle tracking information, route schedules, and dispatch services to their users via mobile apps. The platform can deliver a completely branded solution in a matter of hours, automatically integrating with the user’s existing vehicle tracking hardware.

Soceana (New York, NY) – Soceana is a social media site for non-profits and corporations promoting volunteering and philanthropic giving. The social good generated not only benefits the local communities but also the corporations, via purposeful branding, engaged employees and effective giving.

Silverside Detectors (Boston, MA) – Silverside Detectors builds low-cost neutron sensors that can detect nuclear bomb material. The detectors can be embedded in traffic and urban infrastructure (roads, bridges, buildings) and networked together, to provide large-area detection against the threat of nuclear terrorism.

Reaction (Austin, TX) – Reaction is a rapid-response housing system for victims of all disasters. The initial product, the Exo Housing System, can be set up in two minutes or less without any machinery or tools needed. It is priced out to be cost competitive against any kind of existing shelter options in the marketplace today.

WeatherCloud (Denver, CO) – WeatherCloud aims to significantly decrease highway-related mortality and increase the overall efficiency and safety of the transportation infrastructure. The concept is based on the vehicle translator initiative at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), which is designed to treat cars and trucks on the road as mobile weather sensors. It will then take the data, interpret it, and gain insight into the conditions of the road.

Mellowcabs (Cape Town, South Africa) – Mellowcabs manufactures, and operates attractive, electric mini-cabs that provide public transport in cities. Our main source of income is not carrying passengers, but selling advertising space on, and in the vehicles. Advertising on the vehicles is very powerful and creates zero ad avoidance. Passengers prefer rides in Mellowcabs because they are flexible and very affordable. The cabs are manufactured in South Africa, and hold full international road-worthy status.

Pink Park (Tel Aviv, Israel) – Pink Park is the world’s first online parking marketplace to incorporate single spot sensors technology. The marketplace connects home and business owners who would like to earn money from renting their space with drivers in need of a convenient and cost-effective place to park.


ScanTrust (Beijing, China) – ScanTrust provides next-generation secure graphics that offer strong protection to counterfeiting. With secure graphics that can be managed through a digital workflow, printed with standard equipment and ink and verified with current smartphones, ScanTrust proposes the world’s first purely SaaS-based solution to the problem of counterfeiting. This allows any company to protect their brand, connect with consumers and collect market intelligence at an extremely competitive cost.

Spaceship App (New Delhi, India) – Spaceship is a ride-sharing and carpool smartphone app.

HandUp (San Francisco, CA) – HandUp is a direct donation system for the homeless and others in need in a given neighborhood. With HandUp, users can donate to a specific person via their web profile or SMS, learn about their story and needs and hear updates on their progress.